How many times during the downturn have you heard “if only we’d looked after our industrial heartland we wouldn’t be in this mess”?
A declaration usually followed by a public flogging for all those who haven’t supported the UK’s manufacturing and engineering base.
As ever with strong opinions, the truth often lies between two poles. A business is either competitive or it isn’t, and if it isn’t, it seriously needs to sort its strategy out.
Sometimes this can mean cutting down its product range to core lines, specialise in solving one simple problem for a vast global sector, concentrating on that area which was once niche but now brings in the most profits.
In the manufacturing and specialist engineering sector this is truer than ever. Global and local competition is intense and only the most innovative and strategic have defied the economy to grow their businesses in the past few years.
At LDC we have supported several companies in this sector that have survived some interesting economic times and have the scars and successes to prove it.
We announced our £200m commitment to the specialist engineering and manufacturing sector because we want to support more of them. With a track record and experience of investing in this sector we believe that there are businesses out there which will play a crucial role in the UK recovery and would benefit from additional institutional support.
Manufacturing and engineering is one of the oldest professions on earth. People and businesses will always buy ‘things’. Investing in this sector will help to retain UK talent, ultimately create jobs and improve demand for skills and materials as the sector thinks up, designs and makes these things which make our daily or working lives easier, safer, greener and more interesting.
I’ll leave the last word to the Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden:
“If we say manufacturing is dead, it will be!”
LDC, for one, wants it alive and kicking.
The £200m 3 year Specialist Engineering & Manufacturing initiative is being led by Steve Aston, Rob Schofield and Richard Stewart.
LDC’s existing investment portfolio in this sector includes A-Gas, AIM Aviation, Kee Safety, Kimberly Access, MB Aerospace, Marussia Virgin Racing, NESL, and our support for the oil & gas fund led by Epi-V.